The Real Cost of Knock-Offs

Dwell Magazine

How do you feel about knock-off furniture? It seems like a victimless process that brings design to the masses, but is there more to it than that? Dwell magazine investigates in this article by Jaime Gillin.

It can be difficult for designers to keep other companies from creating imitations of their work, because, as the author points out:

Intellectual property laws in the United States generally don't protect functional items, and since most modern furniture fits squarely into that category, designers often have a hard time fighting knockoffs. They can protect certain original, innovative, or decorative elements within their works, but they can't 'own' the concept of a clean-lined chair or dresser.

It would be hard to find a person that didn't want to support the designers who are losing money because of lower-quality knock-offs created by other companies, but what about those who can't afford such expensive designs? Should they buy a knock-off of what they truly want, or invest in a less expensive piece by a local or lesser known designer?

Read the rest of the article at Dwell, and tell us your thoughts here. I'm anxious to hear your opinions!

MORE KNOCK-OFF THOUGHTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
Knockoffs: Flattery or Theft?
Eames Knock Offs, Fakes & Copies
The Real Deal v The Steal: Can A Knock-Off Ever Be Okay?

(Illustration by Jonathan Williams for Dwell)